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6/4/2020 - 6.4 COVID-19 UPDATE
Dear Fairfielders,

This has been a very difficult week for our country after an already tumultuous few months living during a global health crisis. My love and prayers are with George Floyd's family during this unimaginable time. I understand the sadness and frustration our community is feeling because I feel it too. I am proud of the dedication and professionalism of the men and women in the Fairfield Police Department who protect and serve honorably for the residents of our community. I know they join me in the outrage of the deadly actions that took place by law enforcement in Minneapolis. 

I’m grateful that the Fairfield residents who exercised their right to protest did so peacefully and without the destruction of property. Fairfield has a bright future with this next generation of thoughtful and proactive youth leading the way. I stand ready as the First Selectwoman of the Town of Fairfield to participate in a community conversation so we can honestly and openly discuss and address the systemic roots of racism.   


Some residents have asked why a protest was "allowed" given the social distancing protocols in place and the state restrictions regarding public gatherings. I want to be clear that the protest was organized by students at the grass roots level and was not a town-sanctioned event. The Fairfield Police Department stepped in when they were notified to provide safety for protesters and residents. While I was disappointed that social distancing was not adhered to, I did not see any protesters without masks while I was there. 

COVID-19 CASES LOCAL AND STATE:
The rate of new positive cases in Fairfield continues to trend downward. The Town of Fairfield currently has 613 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and a total of 129 of our residents have lost their lives. Sadly, 92% of Fairfield's COVID-related deaths are from residents in one of Fairfield's seven assisted living facilities or nursing homes. My prayers continue to be with those families who have lost a loved one during this very difficult time.

Of the 613 residents who have tested positive in Fairfield, 264 have reported that they have fully recovered. Charts and data on Fairfield cases including age, gender, nursing home statistics, testing samples, and different trend lines can be found at 
fairfieldct.org/covid19data.

The most recently published data shows Connecticut has 43,091 positive cases, 3,989 deaths, and 406 hospitalizations. Fairfield County has 15,789 confirmed cases and 1,289 deaths.
PLANNING COMMITTEE - PATH TO RECOVERY:
The Planning Committee, a subcommittee of the Emergency Management Team, made up of the Fire, Police, Health, Economic Development, Public School Administration and the First Selectwoman's office, met this week to discuss the Fairfield High School's graduation ceremonies, summer camps, farmers markets, organized athletics, and much more. Our Town is using the Executive Orders from the Governor's office as the leading guidance in our planning and decision-making. The Town is still unable to allow any outdoor gatherings larger than 25 unless specifically outlined in an Executive Order. We anticipate receiving more guidance next week for the Phase Two Opening which is scheduled to start on June 20th. 

Organized Sports: 
While most of our parks and fields are open, the Governor's current order does not permit organized athletics. If and when the Governor changes his executive order we will do everything we can to accommodate local organized sports programs. 

Farmer's Market:
Farmer's Markets are allowed per the Governor's Executive Order. The 
Greenfield Hill Market is currently open on Saturdays from 10-2.  The Downtown Market will open on June 28th and will be following safe protocols including physical distancing. 

For the latest updated guidelines from the State of Connecticut, visit: portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus.
GOVERNOR'S REOPENING ROAD MAP REPORT
FAIRFIELD RESTAURANTS & RETAIL - OPEN
The slides outlining current guidelines for public spaces are linked or you can visit fairfieldrecreation.com.
FILL PILE UPDATE:
Yesterday I met with the Towns' Licensed Environmental Professional (LEP) to observe the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) approved testing that started on Monday. It was very helpful to walk the site and get a detailed briefing on the testing protocol. The protocol includes digging 14 trenches totaling about 1/4 mile and collecting samples from different depths, which will be picked up each day for testing at a Connecticut-licensed lab. While much work lies ahead, we will continue to strictly follow the guidance of DEEP and the EPA during this testing. I will continue to send updates as they become available.
I also want to share with our residents that on Monday, the Town of Fairfield filed litigation in Superior Court against Osprey Environmental and its Principal, Robert Grabarek, for its role in the fill pile contamination.

Osprey Environmental was hired by the Town in 2016 to conduct testing and design and oversee the regulatory closure of the fill pile in compliance with Connecticut’s solid waste requirements. In 2018, Osprey Environmental directed the Town to move forward with this work without obtaining approvals from DEEP. This work included the construction of the berm using materials that were present at the fill pile. DEEP subsequently notified the Town that the work completed at the direction of Osprey Environmental violated applicable laws. I expect that any organization or person that put our Town at risk will be brought to justice. The Town seeks costs associated with the investigation and remediation of the fill pile, including the berm surrounding the fill pile, from Osprey Environmental.  
BUDGET UPDATE:
On Monday night, the Representative Town Meeting voted to reduce an additional $1,117,077 from the Board of Finance recommended budget. In collaboration with the Fairfield Public School Administration, my administration identified savings in the school bus contracts and in fuel costs totaling $924,924. I also recommended to the RTM the elimination of two vacant positions in the Department of Public Works for a savings of $192,153, which coupled with the bus and fuel savings, which resulted in a 0% tax increase. 

I appreciate our residents who volunteer to serve on town boards for their efforts to approve a fiscally responsible budget for our Town, which has been especially challenging during this global health crisis. I am especially proud to be able to work with our Town Boards to deliver a 0% tax increase, the first one in over three decades.

Throughout the budget process, there were significant reductions made to the Town side of the budget that are going to present serious challenges managing the Town over the next year in preparation for the 2022 budget. I am going to work closely with my administration over the coming months to review operations of each of the Town's departments and develop strategies that will allow us to reorganize and create efficiencies in our town government. 

My vision to move Fairfield into the future remains the same as it was on November 25, 2019 when I was sworn in as Fairfield's First Selectwoman.  While much has changed in these very challenging first six months, I remain committed to doing the job the people of Fairfield elected me to do.

I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our town department heads and employees who have gone above and beyond working many additional hours throughout the budget process and while also continuing to deliver services to our residents during a pandemic. The Town of Fairfield thanks you.

Now that the budget is final, tonight the Board of Finance will meet at 7:30 pm to vote to set the mill rate for Fiscal Year 2021.

RTM Adjustments to BOF Recommended Budget 
 
Fiscal Year 2021 Approved Budget 

RESOURCES:
I hope the information and resources I have provided below are helpful. 

We're in this together! 

Sincerely,

Brenda L. Kupchick
Fairfield First Selectwoman
HEAT KILLS: If You Love 'Em, Don't Leave 'Em 
It takes just a few minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to skyrocket, sometimes causing entirely preventable tragedies. I worked hard to launch this program in 2015, which has been replicated throughout the state, in an effort to remind residents of the dangers of leaving their kids or pets in a car during warm weather. 
 
BEACH PARKING - KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The beaches are open until 11 pm. The parking attendants leave at 8:00 pm, the Police Department is on-site beginning at 6:00 pm, and they clear the beaches and lock the lots up by 11:00 pm. 
The public restrooms are open at the beach which will be cleaned by DPW twice daily. I urge residents to remain cautious, maintain distance, wear your masks, and wash your hands.
SAFETY TIPS FOR FAIRFIELD ROADWAYS:
The 
Fairfield Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee reminds residents that with local gyms and parks closed, more people than ever have been outside biking, walking, running and enjoying our neighborhood streets and sidewalks. 

Pedestrians:

- Walk against traffic
- Use the sidewalks
- If there are no sidewalks, walk single file when in groups
Bicyclists:
- Ride With Traffic
- Announce Yourself When Approaching Pedestrians Not Facing You
- Observe All Street Signs
- Ride Single File When in Groups
- And, WEAR A HELMET!

 
FIREWORKS  
Each year, the Fairfield Police Department responds to an increasing number of fireworks complaints between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays.  As we enter the heat of the summer during this unprecedented time in history, particularly with the cancellation of the Town's firework display, we would like to take this opportunity to remind residents of Connecticut's laws pertaining to Fireworks (CGS 29-357).   

All fireworks are illegal in the State of Connecticut, with the exception of sparklers and fountains.

Residents may report the illegal use of fireworks within the Town of Fairfield by calling (203) 254-4800.
The Fairfield COVID-19 Relief Fund was established to provide limited, one-time assistance to Fairfield residents who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Use of the funds must be directly related to the effects of the virus. Donate to the fund or apply for relief by clicking below.
Donate or Apply to the Fairfield COVID-19 Relief Fund
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
If you become unemployed due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you should file for unemployment benefits. Click here for more information. For frequently asked questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) for workers and employers click here.
MORTGAGE RELIEF
The state has provided a FAQ which is a resource to help answer many of your questions about unemployment, mortgage relief, and more. Please read it here. The Governor provided information on mortgage payment relief with over 50 credit unions and banks to help residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19. Participating financial institutions are now offering mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days.

All landlords are prohibited from issuing a notice to quit or beginning eviction proceedings before July 1, 2020, except for serious nuisance, such as physically harming another tenant or the landlord. For rent due in April 2020, landlords must grant tenants an automatic, 60-day grace period for payment, instead of the existing 9-day grace period. Read more. 
SOCIAL SERVICES
We're all feeling anxious about the coronavirus, concerned about isolation, worried about our jobs and our families. If you are feeling anxious or fearful right now, you are not alone. Talking with people you trust about your feelings is very useful for managing stress. For more information on services available for teens, parents and all residents visit: fairfieldct.org/humanservices

Social Services continues to assist by telephone town residents who are experiencing difficulty providing the basic needs for themselves and their families, especially during these unprecedented times. Please call with any questions or concerns: 203-256-3170.
BIGELOW CENTER 
Transportation services will resume in June or a limited basis for medical appointments and grocery shopping. 

Grocery Shopping: GBT buses will continue to provide weekly trips to the Supermarket for residents of Senior and Disabled Housing. For those who do not live in Senior and Disabled Housing, Fairfield Senior Transportation will provide rides on fixed routes based on neighborhoods either Tuesdays or Thursdays each week. Masks must be worn to board the buses. Please call for more information, hours of service, and route schedule: 203-256-3166. 

Medical Appointments: Fairfield Senior Transportation will provide rides for medical appointments for Fairfield’s seniors and people with disabilities beginning June 10 on Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 9:30 – 3:00 PM (do not schedule any appointments after 1:30 PM). Reservations for rides, which are first-come, first-served for appointments, must be made no less than one week in advance. Please call the senior center for more information: 203-256-3166. 

Meals for those who are unable to cook or get to the market, and Senior Grocery bags, provided by the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging, will continue to be delivered by Senior Center staff and CERT volunteers.

Bigelow Center and Social Services staff is available by phone during normal business hours to answer your questions. The Senior Center phone number is 203-256-3166, or email BigelowCenter@FairfieldCT.org.
FAIRFIELD SENIOR ADVOCATES
Fairfield Senior Advocates have been hosting zoom sessions on various issues such as housing, COVID, the library, and reopening. Future sessions include responses to the opening process, Probate Court operations with Judge Kate Maxham and soon to be scheduled with First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick. Check their website for details and informationfairfieldsenioradvocates.com. 
LOCAL TAXES
Tax Deferment: Any real estate, motor vehicle, personal property or sewer taxes that became due on April 1st will not be considered delinquent if paid by July 1st. Also, all taxes that become due on July 1st will not be considered delinquent if paid by October 1st. Please note that Fairfield landlords can learn more about how to qualify by contacting the tax collector's office. For anyone with questions, please click here or call 203.256.3100.

Senior & Disabled Tax Relief both the State and Town Programs: The Governor issued Executive Order 7S which includes a provision to eliminate the refiling requirement for those applicants due to refile this year. If you were due to refile this year, you were notified by mail in February. As a result of this Executive Order, you are no longer required to come into our office to refile. In addition we mailed a postcard to those that do not need to reapply on April 16,2020, as confirmation.

If you are seeking benefits for the first time you will need to apply. Please contact the office at 203-256-3110 and we will work with you on submitting the required documentation.
COVID-19 TESTING
CVS has expanded their drive-thru testing to include 12 new sites in CT. These new sites will utilize self-swab tests and will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Learn more here.  

At this time, testing priority is given to those who are high risk. For more information on testing sites and protocols click here or visit www.fairfieldct.org/covid19. 
OPERATION HOPE FOOD PANTRY 
Operation Hope wants to make sure residents of Fairfield are aware that the food pantry remains open and is ready to help by providing food and other basic needs to community residents, as they have for nearly 35 years. The pantry is currently operating as a drive-up service at 636 Old Post Road offering prepacked bags of groceries appropriate for various-sized households. 

Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:00-12:00; Thursday from 4:00 -6:00. Visit operationhopect.org.
FAIRFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY: OPEN ONLINE
On Monday June 22nd Fairfield Public Main Library and Woods Branch will launch scheduled curbside pickup to Fairfield library card holders for library items that have been placed on hold.  Please visit fairfieldpubliclibrary.org  for full details regarding this service.  In the interest of everyone’s safety and health, library buildings will remain closed while providing this contact-free service.  

Fairfield Public Library continues to offer 24/7 access to their digital collection of books, music, magazines and movies plus a wide and varied assortment of virtual programs. Learn more here:  fplct.librarymarket.com/.

Need a library card?   Follow this link fairfieldpubliclibrary.org/my-fpl/library-cards/ and get started today!


Sign up for the library newsletter here
PEQUOT LIBRARY: WE'RE HERE, WE CARE 
Pequot Library's doors may be temporarily closed, but our librarians and staff are still here for you! Enjoy digital programs like story times, author talks, book clubs, and more! Get details on our website and social media:  
FacebookInstagramTwitterand YouTubeSign up for Pequot Library's Digital Digest eNewsletter or contact our Chief Librarian for personalized book recommendations. 

On Monday, June 22, Pequot will be curbside pickup. Please contact us for more information.
PUBLIC SAFETY REQUESTS
In an Emergency, please Dial 911. Our Police and Fire Departments remain fully staffed, ready and able to respond to any emergency.

For non-emergency complaints or requests for service, please utilize the phone numbers below:
Police: (203) 254-4800
Fire: (203) 254-4700
TOWN GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
Each department will have new guidelines as to how you can reach them on various services. Please visit this summary page for an overview and follow links to specific departments for more information. 
Fairfield's Operations During COVID-19
HELP FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS
The Center for Family Justice closed its main Bridgeport offices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but staff is now working remotely to serve clients in crisis. 

The hotline numbers are:
Domestic Violence: 203-384-9559
Sexual Violence: 203-333-2233
Spanish Hotline: 888-568-8332

Important COVID-19 Links:

Fairfield Health Department coronavirus website:  fairfieldct.org/covid19

For the latest numbers of cases, deaths and those recovered click here

For additional data and graphs of activity click here

For guidance and updates on Connecticut’s coronavirus preparedness efforts, visit: ct.gov/coronavirus

Contact Information:

For general questions you can call 211

Hartford HealthCare’s COVID-19 Clinical Command Center hotline, staffed by healthcare professionals, is now available to the community. To reach the 24-hour hotline, call 860.972.8100 or (toll-free) 833.621.0600.

YNHH has a call center number it’s 1-833-ASK YNHH that’s open from 7am - 7pm.

For additional information and prevention tips, refer to the Health Department website at: www.fairfieldct.org/health or the Fairfield homepage under news at www.fairfieldct.org.
PREVIOUS COVID-19 UPDATES:
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